I will post some excerpts over several days.
|Saskatchewan author, Ryan Willey|
I attended another youth group on occasion in a rather large church because the Christian boy who I had once fallen for started becoming very involved with three charismatic churches. I enjoyed going to two of those churches because I felt that people enjoyed my unique brand of humour and my positive morals. The boy I once fell for was now more of a close friend to me, rather than a romantic interest, and I would usually only go to youth groups with him.
After attending this large church for an extended period of time, the Christian boy invited me to go to a youth retreat in the church for a weekend. It sounded like fun and I made some new friends in the youth group who were also attending. My friend had gone once before and was excited for me to go because it apparently was “a life changing experience”.
He drove to my place early one Saturday morning and seemed very excited that I was attending the retreat. Another friend of ours who had gone through the previous retreat was with him, also excited for the weekend. I sat in the back seat and they kept saying many random things which I assumed one would only understand if they had already attended the retreat.
We arrived and entered the office area of the church where other newcomers of the retreat were welcomed. There were around forty of us and we waited as the others who brought us to the retreat prepared to start.
The friend who was with us in the car came and told us it was time to start. He was ecstatic and told us to join hands and form a line as he guided us into the gymnasium of the church. We were greeted with cheers and confetti being thrown in our faces as if we were very important people who had arrived to an event in our honour. Soon after we all joined hands and those who brought us sang a song about having “a new life”.
Leading the Youth (1 excerpt)
I certainly wasn’t a youth leader in a way in which most Christian parents would consider “a good role model”. However, the kids saw something different in me and many of them called me their best friend. They didn’t look at me as your normal uptight Christian adult who wanted to conform them in a manner of “right-wing” Christian morals. Instead I brought forth a genuine love, in which we shared stories of life and how we chose to handle them in our own personal ways regardless of what the church taught, or general bible teachings for that matter.
One boy from the youth group often spent weekends at my family’s house and we would go to church on Sunday mornings. He would meet his family at the church to go home outside of the city. He wasn’t very much younger than me, I was twenty-one years old while he was seventeen when he would stay for nights at my place.
I admit that out of desperation for love, I developed feelings for him as he treated me the way that I’ve always wanted to be treated by a man. Although he was rather handsome and charming, nothing inappropriate happened between us nor did I attempt to let anything happen. However, it was partially why he held such a charm on me in our friendship.
I respected the fact that he was still rather impressionable. Eventually I realized that he didn’t share the same interest that I had for other boys, which made my situation easier in regards to feelings or temptations I had for him. I was still very happy to have such a beautiful, kind, caring friend, but I suppose the closeness in our friendship still gave me certain feelings for him which I could not deny.
Stay tuned tomorrow for another excerpt of his book.
You can purchase the book Becoming the Devil They Fear from McNally Robinson. They ship books as well. I will post the details when the book is ready